Patna, Jan 24: With crisis deepening in JD(U) in the wake of war of words between supporters of Nitish Kumar and Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, party president Sharad Yadav on Saturday held a closed door meeting to douse the fire.
Manjhi and state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh were with Sharad Yadav in the closed-door meeting at state guest house for more than half-an-hour. When asked, Manjhi told reporters there was no problem in the party. "Ask Sharad Yadav," he said, when pressed further.
But Singh, who had come to the state guest house from the residence of senior leader Nitish Kumar admitted, the situation was becoming "serious" due to repeated statements of leaders. "The party is suffering a serious loss due to statements coming from party leaders," Singh told reporters.
Crisis in JD(U) seems to have been deepening since the 'dinner diplomacy' attended by over 20 state ministers owing allegiance to Nitish Kumar at the residence of Food Minister Shyam Rajak on Wednesday.
The dinner meeting was seen as an event of strong posturing against CM Manjhi by pro-Nitish ministers and also as a part of the plan to replace him with another Dalit leader Shyam Rajak.
Manjhi denied reports of a problem in the party
The very next day, Manjhi adopted a defiant pose at a function at Banka and went on to claim that he performed better than previous regimes including that of Nitish Kumar. Manjhi in an apparent reference to previous governments' tenure, including Nitish Kumar regime, also said that the state government could not spend more than 30 to 45 per cent of budgetary allocation.
"But a poor man CM Manjhi managed to spend 58 per cent of budget on welfare works." He said his efforts to stop the "loot of government funds" has resulted in a "pain in the stomach" of people who were working "overtime" to oust him.
Continuing with his assertions, Manjhi at a function yesterday used the allegory of a bird who advised a monkey to make nests to protect itself but the latter destroyed the nest.
Hinting at some ministers of his own cabinet, he had said like some Mangur fish eat up small fish there are some people who have been staring at him since the time he talked about corruption in work and announced to tame it.